There's no sign outside Imanishi Japanese Kitchen, unless you count the one left over from the previous tenant, a Dundas West Portuguese sports bar.
"We ran out of money," co-owner Daisuke Gomyo says by way of explanation.
So they're not doing that underground, we're-way-too-cool-for-signage thing?
"I'm not a huge fan of that!" he says, while his friend and partner Sori Imanishi listens in. "I don't think it's a customer-friendly thing. I heard people got lost and weren't able to find us. But they're not mad."
It doesn't surprise me that Imanishi is attracting attention: it serves some of the best Japanese snack plates I've tried.
But for all its cool, dimly lit vibe and strong, delicious cocktails, trying to make their new spot into the hippest Japanese joint in town was never high on the duo's list of priorities. When they were finally ready to turn their recent pop-up at nearby bar Churchill into a permanent spot, they just filled it with their favourite stuff. Comic books line the walls, and skateboard decks have been fashioned into decorative hangers.
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Updated March 2, 2016